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Exercises Movements, technique & proper execution

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Old 07-31-2005, 11:15 AM   #1
Tim Morrison
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I really locked into the idea of functionality a few years ago.... the notion that certain movements are natural for the human body and can be logically be traced as such thru evolution...so to speak. Dips, pull-ups, clean and jerk for example all make sense.
What doesn't make sense to me in this regard is the overhead squat or squat snatch.
As challenging as these are to whole body balance and strength (and worthwhile doing for that exact reason alone).... the notion of maneuvering an object at an arms distance overhead (vs being on your upper chest)... vs being brought to the upper chest then maneuvered over head doesn't strike me as functional (i.e. a movement likely to be called upon in a real world strength challenge).
So wondering about other's perspectives on this and how the snatch came to be incorporated into a key Olympic move.
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Old 07-31-2005, 01:33 PM   #2
Russ Greene
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The unofficial history of olympic weightlifting

Gee guys wouldn't it be cool if we had a contest about how much weight we could lift? What lifts should we do. It's cool to lift weights off the ground and overhead our head. Hmmm, how about one exercise where you lift the weight overhead in one motion, one exercise where your first bring it to your shoulder and then jump it overhead, and another where you bring it to your shoulder and push it overhead with your upper body. These three exercises would probably involve most of the muscles of the body, as well as speed and flexibility.

A year later:
Hmmm, we don't have to pull the bar as high and can lift more weight if we do a split underneath it.

A few more years later:
You know, those splits are fine and dandy, but we can get even lower if we "squat" underneath the bar after cleaning and snatching it. Why don't we start doing "squat snatches" and "squat cleans" instead of split snatches and split cleans. And that exercise where we push the bar overhead with our arm and shoulders has gotten a little out of hand with all the backbending the lifters are doing. Why don't we get rid of that one?

Some more time has passed:
It sure is easier to do these "squat" snatches if we practice doing squats with the weight hold overhead. These "overhead squats" really make us more comfortable in the bottom position and strengthen our support muscles. Plus they really force you to keep good form in the squat. Maybe athletes other than olympic weightlifters would benefit from them.

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Old 08-01-2005, 11:31 AM   #3
Craig Bucher
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I am thinking of a Conan movie or maybe the Goonies where some big huge dude is keeping the ceiling from falling in(OHS) while everyone else runs through his legs and out to safety.

Lifting a heavy weight from shoulder height to overhead is probably easier to Jerk than to OHS, but if it is so heavy that it requires more than one person, multiple people could probably coordinate an OHS easier than a Jerk.
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Old 08-01-2005, 11:58 AM   #4
Patrick Kennedy
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Clean and Jerk/Snatch -
Both good for throwing BIG rocks over the castle parapet onto the enemy below. Snatch has quicker cycle time, so more rounds down range.
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Old 08-01-2005, 12:59 PM   #5
Veronica Carpenter
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C&J/Snatch: good for rounding up goats and sheep and tossing in the back of a pick-up truck. :biggrin:
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Old 08-01-2005, 08:46 PM   #6
Tim Morrison
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I don't know if you guys are just being sarcastic concerning my (probably ignorant) perspective but they were great explanations to me...actually really helpful in describing the functionality of it all...especially Russ's
Thank You!
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Old 08-01-2005, 09:14 PM   #7
Kalen Meine
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It's important when one considers "functional" movements to not get trapped into a mode of "will I do exactly this move elsewhere?" because while that's a big part of it, it's not the whole thing. Generally, one will not snatch anything but a bar (or a goat. or a rock.) But it is the most challenging (good) explosive (good) hip extension (good) exercise there is, and has excellent carryover (good) to similar shaped movements, like running, jumping, or throwing. It's functional because it's a clean, but harder ;-)
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Old 08-01-2005, 09:19 PM   #8
Russ Greene
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Something I forgot to say:
If you look at the motion of the legs, hips, and lower back, as opposed the actions of the arms during the snatch, perhaps the motion will seem more related to other athletic endeavors.

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Old 08-01-2005, 09:45 PM   #9
Veronica Carpenter
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he motion will seem more related to other athletic endeavors.

You mean it's like jumping? :proud:}
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Old 08-01-2005, 10:28 PM   #10
Russ Greene
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Well, as wrestler I was thinking it's a lot like a double leg takedown, i.e. lifting your opponent off the mat from what's basically a full squat, but I guess I can kind of see where you're going with this whole "olympic lifts are like jumping" idea.

Heck, I might as well admit that I am head over heels in love with snatches and overhead squats. If they were illegal everywhere except for Amsterdam, I would either practice civil disobedience at home or be on the next flight out to the Netherlands. If they were less functional than the 23rd variation of lateral raises... I think you get the idea.

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